Donald Wilson’s wife, Lakenya Wilbourn, died of a stroke in August, leaving the father of three heartbroken. The bereaved father was left to raise their five-year-old Donald Jr., four-year-old Poetry, and one-year-old Honesty on his own.
Wilson told The Washington Post, “I’m going through a lot, and it’s hard being a strong person all the time. Depression sets in because it feels like you’re incapable. It’s like always being in survival mode.”
The 33-year-old motivated himself to “face it in order to move forward” so he could support his kids, but it was evident to everyone—including his neighbor Colin McConnell—that he was having trouble doing so.
McConnell, 48, began to talk to Wilson regularly after witnessing how difficult it was for him. Wilson finally opened up to his neighbor about his emotional and financial concerns after some hesitation. “It was hard to tell people because I didn’t want to make people think I was weak or not capable,” Wilson expressed.
After learning of his predicament, McConnell went out of his way to make Wilson’s kids happy by making chalk drawings outside their home, bringing the kids sweet snacks, and socializing with Wilson’s kids as much as he could; yet, it never felt like enough.
The concerned neighbor shared Wilson’s story on TikTok last month and linked an Amazon wish list with supplies, toys, food and clothing for the Wilson children, according to The Washington Post. Since then, the video has received over 200,000 views. A day after sharing the video, McConnell awoke to a surprise outside his door. “I woke up, and my front door was all boxes. I was shocked and filled with joy. McConnell stated.
Following that day, more and more shipments were sent; over 100 arrived; and every item on the Amazon wish list was purchased. People also contributed dolls, arts and crafts, diapers, cereal, snacks, macaroni, clothing, and coats.
Wilson and his children were also given gift cards and tickets to watch Frozen the Musical Frozen. They were also gifted furniture by the locals. McConnell filmed Wilson’s emotional reaction to seeing all the gifts. “This is crazy. I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know what to say,” Wilson stated.
The single father told the Washington Post that it was heartwarming to watch strangers go out of their way to support his family.
“This is a blessing,” he said. “There’s love out there. This is what happiness feels like.”
McConnell, on the other hand, is overjoyed that he was able to show Wilson that there are individuals who care about him and his family. “He has now accepted that he is not alone, and he has a community that loves him and the kids.”